- Independent electricity brand, Earth & Wire, has signed a 12 year Power Purchase Agreement with the Energy Exchange of Southern Africa to provide 5 MW (13 GWh per annum) of solar energy to Mediclinic and another major customer.
The power will be generated from the Slimsun Too photovoltaic project near Malmesbury in the Western Cape and delivered to the customers via the national grid. The generation facility and the three off-takers are all connected to the Eskom grid.
Thomas Garner, head of Business Development at Earth & Wire said, “These are the first Earth & Wire sales to multiple customers from one source via the Energy Exchange. This heralds the beginning of a new era of private electricity agreements with consumers looking for cost-effective, reliable energy within a competitive open market. We are particularly thrilled that Mediclinic has signed with Energy Exchange. They are a ‘critical care’ business that cannot afford to operate in an insecure energy environment.”
Kobus Jonck, General Manager: Infrastructure of Mediclinic Southern Africa, said, “Procuring renewable energy forms part of the Mediclinic strategy. We strongly believe that the use of renewable energy is important in ensuring a healthy planet for future generations. We are also focused on reducing consumption by investing in energy-efficient equipment and changing human behaviour, which also assists in mitigating rising electricity costs.”
When pushed to disclose the agreed tariff, Garner said, “The ongoing conversation around price in the South African Power sector is missing the point. Given the severe availability problems that we currently face in this country, customers are searching for an alternative, clean energy source that comes with certainty. Our tariffs are rigorously modeled on realistic predictions that include critical factors such as fluctuating exchange rates, inflation and realistic interest rates. Our customers are very comfortable with the tariff we’ve agreed.”
Financial close is predicted by the end of August 2022, and construction should begin soon after that. Commercial operation is anticipated to be by April 2023. Garner summed up Earth & Wire’s future plans. “Important as this deal is, we are very excited about where we go next. We have around 1500 MWs of shovel-ready wind, solar and storage capacity. Our ambition is to serve a wide range of customers by satisfying their specific needs. Ultimately, we want to provide clean electricity to all South Africans including domestic consumers for many years to come. To do that, we need a balanced portfolio that will offer a total-value solution. We’re well on track. So, watch this space.”
Author: Bryan Groenendaal